Ringworm in Cats: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

We are going to talk about ringworm in cats and is that when we make the decision to have a cat, as part of the family, we must also ensure their health and well-being.

Our cats often suffer from different health problems,since they are animals, which have a coat that requires a lot of care.

Ringworm in cats

Among one of these problems is ringworm in cats or Dermatophytosis which is a disease caused by a fungus called Microspurun canis (M.canis).

Cats that usually acquire this disease are small cats with a weak immune system, weak cats due to old age or some chronic pathology. It is highly contagious with other species including humans..

When our cat’s skin is healthy, without autotrauma, it can rarely be spread with ringworm,so we have to keep in mind that a cat without fleas, lice and parasites that damage the skin, is almost certainly a cat without ringworm..

So that you are not surprised by the situation and without knowledge on the subject of ringworm, then we will know everything about it how it is infected, what are the symptoms of ringworm in cats and treatment to address this pathology.

Ringworm in Cats

How to know if a cat has ringworm?

When a cat has ringworm, the symptoms are very varied, since in large part it will depend on the integral health of the same, because the disease can occur with severe or mild injuries, they can be circular and alopecic, in head, legs and ears.

The skin flakes and gives the impression of being inflamed, the hairs that surround the area can be split, sometimes cats only have their nails affected, if you observe them the broken and brittle truths.

As well as you will also see areas without fur, since the fungus can not live in areas with hairs, you can alsoobserve if a specific area is scratched, bitten or thed frequently,as well as a different smell in the affected area.

How a veterinarian confirms what ringworm is in cats

Diagnosing ringworm in cats is not enough with clinical review, as it can be confused with other skin conditions, so the veterinarian must perform at least 2 of the existing tests to diagnose this disease:

  • Wood’s ultraviolet lamp: it is an examination that is not 100% effective in detecting the disease, because it is done in a dark room and the light is directed towards the infected hairs, showing a fluorescence light of green apple color, by a metabolite that produces the M canis, but not all species show this flowering, reason why the result is not effective, but however, you can take a hair sample for another exam.
  • Microscopic examination of suspicious hairs:this examination should be performed by an expert mycologist,it is unreliable and fast if fungal elements are obtained, if not, it may be that the sample was taken poorly.
  • Fungal culture: this examination is performed by selecting broken hairs that are around the lesions, in case the cat does not have lesions a sterile toothbrush should be taken, brushed and samples taken, then in the laboratory, everything concerningthe culture will be performed, for a truthful result.
Ringworm in Cats

Ringworm in cats and treatments

If the cat is healthy and strong the organism is self-eliminated in a week through the defenses,if on the contrary it has low defenses it is necessary to provide treatment for ringworm in cats, to eliminate the infection, and prevent it from spreading between other animals and humans, so it should attack immediately.

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Systemic therapy

You should take medication for three weeks with a week of intermediate rest between each, together with a topical application on the affected areas,the treatment should be done constantly, respecting the rest week for its effectiveness,

There are a variety of medications for this disease such as: Itrafungol syrup containing Itraconazole.

It can be used in cats from 10 days of age, caution must be exercised in case of pregnancy.

We also have Terbifin is an expensive drug, but very effective, Lefenuron which is also a pulscide, works by eliminating chitin production, since M canis mushrooms have a chitin wall..

Ringworm in Cats

Topical therapy

This is done with shampoo or rinse,throughout the body, it is like bathing the cat, but it should be left for 10 minutes and give gentle massages with the fingertips, all over the body, it is a procedure that should be performed twice a week.

With topical therapy we reduce environmental pollution, it is important to cut the hairs or shave the cat before applying the treatment.

If you decide to shave it is better to do it with the sedated cat, so you avoid doing more damage to the lesions and extend them, you should burn the cut and / or shaved hairs and disinfect the blades.

It is also important to shave the cat again weeks after starting systemic treatment, because the drug is taking effect and new uncontaminated hair begins to come out.

Among the topical therapy drugs we have: Malaseb shampoo;
Enilconazole rinse,has been proven to be a bit toxic, so it is recommended to use placing a cone,until it dries.

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If there are other cats or dogs, they should also be tested and treated to all.

Ringworm in Cats

Time and stages to cure ringworm in cats

The time to cure ringworm in cats will depend on how the treatment is applied, since if it is done properly and in the established times respecting the rest week it should be in 6 or 7 weeks.

If you have more than one animal, whether cats or dogs, this cure time will be longer, and everything will also depend on how this infection of our cat, and we have three stages:

Simple condition:

With a cat of good health, with visible lesions,it will quickly and safely correspond to treatment in a short span of time.

Infection with complications:

A long-haired, thick cat that has the lesions, larger, presents several pathologies will not correspond to the treatment so easily, it will be longer the time to heal completely and will have greater resistance to drugs.

Positive fungal culture Without lesions:

These are cats with a very strong immune system,who have had contact with infected cats, do not present symptoms, but nevertheless transmit infectious spores, which are found in their hairs.

So they should also be applied topical treatment, they will correspond very well and in a short period of time.

You have to eliminate everything that the cats have had contact with,(collar, basket, bed, cloth toys) combs and brushes that can not be disinfected, you have to burn them.

They should be kept in a single area with nothing, just a cardboard box that can be changed weekly,for the duration of treatment and illness.

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All areas should be thoroughly cleaned, with bleach, daily, if you have fans, heating and air conditioning, you should vacuum, clean and burn the vacuum bag to be able to kill the spores of the contaminated hairs.

Ringworm in Cats

Prevention of ringworm in cats

To prevent ringworm in cats we must take into account health and the environment,starting with food.

A poorly fed cat is potentially sensitive to parasites and a low defense system, lack of hygiene, excess moisture or heat and stress can affect our feline and acquire this fungus M. canis.

So we must pay more attention, help them groom themselves if they are cats with very long hair or if they have arthritis problems, be aware of the sites you visit.

Even if you do not have the disease, making them a bath with a fungicide would not hurt, as a way of prevention every 6 months, keep their areas disinfected and clean.

Ringworm in cats in humans?

Ringworm or dermatophytosis is a zoonosis disease and can be spread to humans, so if we have a cat with the disease we must take forecasts and especially with children and even more if they have low defenses, because as well as in animals with low defenses they are prone in humans as well.

When we are treating and curing a cat with ringworm we must wear gloves, protection on clothes, clean and disinfect all areas of the house, with bleach, as well as all the implements used by the cat.

Now that you know ringworm in cats, its behavior and chain of transmission, I hope it is useful, and you can help your pet, both to be cured if he has the disease, and to prevent it if he does not have it.

As well as you can share this information, with all the people who have pets, know the treatment of ringworm in cats and can take care of and protect those who are also part of their family. I hope you liked it.